On 14-15 April the fourth Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP) meeting brought together around 180 civil society representatives from all Member States of the EU and working across all themes included in the Agency's Multi-Annual Framework. The principle issues covered in the meeting included:
Access to justice: which explored how civil society organisations can help victims to claim their rights through courts and other complaints procedures
Participation: which explored the role played by civil society organisations in the implementation of UN Human Rights Conventions, focusing on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
Cooperation: which looked at how to get the most out of the relationship between the FRA and the FRP
A large proportion of the meeting was dedicated to interactive workshops and networking opportunities, as well as knowledge exchange between civil society organisations and FRA experts.
The entire afternoon of day one was allocated to "The Floor Is Yours", an innovative forum where FRP participants were given the opportunity to present ideas, projects and issues of their choice. Over 30 different sessions took place, with themes ranging across all areas of the FRA's work.
Lunch was structured around ‘Talking Tables', with 15 tables dedicated to specific themes, such as human rights education, violence against women, the rights of persons with disabilities, and rights of the child as well as some cross-cutting issues, such as communications. FRA experts working in these areas were present at each table to respond to questions about the work of the FRA and to listen to suggestions by civil society.
"By widening the channels carrying your input into our work, the Platform can become part of the very DNA of the Agency, rather than an appendage" said FRA Director Morten Kjaerum in his speech to the FRP participants.
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